Links of the Week 1

 Saturday Space Stories!

 Ordered from least to most probable:

Through some excellent mechanical design, you can now imagine that you’re in a Battlestar Galactica space battle with your stomach as well as your brain.

Verdict: while the simulator is a very cool real thing, close quarters space combat with robots-that-have-evolved-into-people while searching for a new homeworld is rather unlikely.

Stratolaunch and Orbital Sciences are working on a much larger version of the Pegasus rocket that might even be able to launch humans. The current Pegasus launches from several thousand feet in the air (carried by a plane) as opposed to the ground, like most rockets.  Although expensive for its weight, it allows for much more versatility in the launch timing and orbit placement: if there’s a storm in Florida (or wherever the launch pad happens to be), instead of scrubbing the launch, the plane can just fly somewhere else. Unfortunately, it can only handle small payloads … for now. 

Verdict:  Lots of CGI and not much else, but I am cautiously optimistic.

Finally, a little bird told me that the details of this announcement might be kind of awesome.

Verdict: Barring NASA’s budget being completely revoked in the next two weeks (not entirely out of the question) the announcement is definitely going to happen.

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